Isn’t the extravagance of nature better news, than the hoarding of opportunities for others? And throwing people off Medicaid, which is happening now in many states?
Yesterday’s headlines tell us that more than 1.5 million persons—including families with kids—were dropped from Medicaid recently, as states purge rolls after the pandemic. Most got dropped for not filing paperwork. Florida has dropped by far the most, many hundreds of thousands of people. Other states include Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakotas, Utah, and West Virginia.*
Statistics tell us that today 1 in 4 Americans cannot afford the cost of the medications their doctors prescribe. Bernie Sanders relates this situation to the greed of pharmaceutical companies, which make “much higher profit margins than any other industry.” He calls it a “horrifying, barbaric and dysfunctional system” made all the worse because taxpayers subsidize the research and development enjoyed by these companies.
Fifty top executives in the pharmaceutical companies took home over $1.5 billion in compensation and stock awards last year. Some companies charge $200,000 for a treatment for a product that costs them a few hundred dollars to manufacture.
This is a far cry from compassion or interconnectivity which, like extravagance, is how the universe works.
Interconnectivity is now understood as a basic law or habit in our universe. A supernova explosion birthed the elements in our bodies. The molecules of blood in our bodies are identical to the chlorophyll in green plants, save for one atom of iron substituting for an atom of magnesium. The gravity that has me sitting in my chair is also moving planets and galaxies in the farthest distance of the universe, one trillion galaxies away. Spend twenty-five minutes in a room with others, and you are all breathing in one another’s water vapor. Breathe deeply and you are inhaling at least one molecule of air that Jesus breathed on earth, or Mohammed or Sojourner Truth or….
Today’s science tells many stories about interconnectivity which translate into a moral law for humans. As Thomas Merton teaches: “the whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living things, which are all part of one another and all involved in one another.”
Compassion is born of interconnectivity, the cosmic law of responding to another’s pain and suffering, joy and celebration as one’s own. How are we doing?
Adapted from Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion
And Fox, Liberating Gifts For the Peoples of the Earth, p. 45.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE
Banner Image: The earliest known star, Earendel, in the Deep Space Field as captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. Photo by NASA/ESA/CSA/STS. Wikimedia Commons.